Super Mario Galaxy Review

My favorite reviews are always the ones where two people discuss a game back and forth. It’s rare we get to do that here and have two people play the same game so close to its release, but the stars were aligned for Super Mario Galaxy.


Brendon: Eddie, you’ve beaten Mario now. Tell me: worth the wait?

Eddie: Absolutely. I’ve had trouble pulling myself away since getting my grubby little hands on it. It really recaptures much of the feeling I want to experience in my Mario games. It’s got the tight controls, varied environments, and general entertainment value that a Mario game should have.

It’s FUN! I know that’s what you are all about, no?

Brendon: I’m really glad Galaxy turned out so well after Sunshine, which I was really disappointed with. There’s just something about the second and third games in a Mario “series.” Super Mario bros 1 was fun, 2 was a letdown, 3 was the best. Mario 64 was fun, Sunshine was a letdown, Galaxy is — in my opinion — the best.

I was a little put off at first with the opening (when did we get Spielberg directing Mario cutscenes?) and the whole space travel aspect of it. But like you said, once I started playing it was just familiar Mario feelings. It’s FUN (as you say), it’s got great environments, and it just has an undeniable charm.

Eddie: Yes, very charming – and I can’t help but be reminded of The Little Prince on that first planet. As for the space travel thing, I get what you’re saying, I was a little wary of CONSTANTLY being in space. Memories of a certain Isle Delphino came to mind…

But that was quickly erased when I saw the various galaxies, and how much they differ from one another.

Brendon: How they handled space was well done. Even though you’re in outer space, you’re still in areas JUST like the ones we’ve played in Mario games before.

Eddie: Right. You can actually go through some of the levels and forget that you’re in outer space at all.

Brendon: Another thing I’m amazed at is how simple the game looks and plays in regards to the gravitational pull and orbiting planets and all, yet we’ve never seen anything like it in a platformer.

Eddie: It’s like the initial introduction of physics-based gameplay. Seems so simple to use the basic physical properties of the world around us, but it really works when implemented properly. Galaxy takes gravity and runs with it.

Brendon: Now that it’s been done though, I really don’t think another game is going to be able to pull it off. Galaxy succesfully made and destroyed a new gameplay mechanic.

Eddie: I was just about to tell you not to be so pessimistic, but then I realized that you may be right. What, aside from making an obvious copycat game, could be done with the gravity theme?

Brendon: Be honest, can you think of any situation other than a tiny planet or space station where this gameplay can be used? (And no, rooms where gravity is turned off or gravity boots don’t count.)

Eddie: Exactly what I was pondering.

Brendon: I think if we examine Galaxy’s faults (of which there are very few) that may be one of them for me. It’s like dangling a carrot saying, “Hey! This is awesome, innovative, fun AND well-developed! But you’ll probably never see it again!”

Eddie: Would it even be ok for Nintendo to use it again?

Brendon: I just can’t see it being done, not even for a Nintendo game.

Eddie: A Galaxy sequel, perhaps?

Brendon: When has Nintendo really done that, though? That’s why Mario has remained so great: they rarely reuse gameplay elements outside of the needed things like jumping and asspound.

Eddie: Yup, and since you type faster than me, you will never see that I was writing the same thing – I feel like any new Mario game has to be the freshest of ideas, even if it involves something as “revolutionary” as the F.L.U.D.D.

Brendon: Obviously Mass Effect, Rock Band, Assassin’s Creed and a lot of other big games haven’t come out yet, but has there been a game you’ve played so far this year that you’ve had more FUN playing than Galaxy?

Eddie: No. Galaxy is the most fun I’ve had with a game this year… Flinging italian plumbers around the vast reaches of space is just my idea of a good time.

Brendon: It’s pretty crazy how far the little guy has come. Mario’s gone from walking down straight brick paths to flying through space feeding hungry star things. What can he do next knowing he always has to 1-up himself?

Eddie: hmm…well now we’ve got Mario Land, World, Galaxy…

Maybe Mario will find a unique way to manipulate time in his next game?

Brendon: Prince of Mushroom Kingdom?

Eddie: Hey, combine Mario and Prince of Persia, and I’ll buy TWO copies.


Brendon’s take:

There’s no questioning that Super Mario Galaxy is a fun game, but I think you already knew that. Ratchet & Clank may have better production values and a better narrative, but Galaxy is easily the funnest platforming game to come along in years. There are a few minor issues here and there, such as the star bits feeling tacked on, the camera struggling at times and the swimming being some of the worst yet in a Mario game, but overall Galaxy shines. To me, Mario Sunshine was like SMB 2 in that it wasn’t a terrible game; it just felt like a game that had Mario tacked on. Much like SMB 3, Mario Galaxy rights the ship, and delivers one of the best Mario experiences yet.

Score: 9.5


Eddie’s take:

Super Mario Galaxy is a wonderful experience, and as I ran, jumped, floated, crawled, climbed, swam, surfed, rolled, soared, and flung myself through its 30+ locales, I found myself wondering if this is, in fact, my favorite Mario game to date. Great gameplay, a refreshing yet nostalgic soundtrack, the best graphics on the Wii, and excellent level design make it at least the best game on the system. It is not without its flaws, though. The camera can be resrictive in terms of total viewing area, and although usually quite smart, sometimes obscures the player’s view by positioning itself behind parts of the environment. Another nit-picky gripe is that the levels sometimes blow by so quickly that players might be left wanting to explore more, and also that the small masses of land can feel like narrow, linear corridors through which players are guided on their way to the goal. Brendon is yelling at me for writing too much now, so I’ll leave you with this: Super Mario Galaxy is the best game on the Wii, and one of the best Mario games ever. Buy it.

Score: 9.5


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.